Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970. Today, many activists are still fighting to increase public awareness of environmental issues, especially around the perceived dangers of fossil fuels and their contribution to global warming. In recent months, Congress has considered a proposal known as the Green New Deal, an echo of FDR’s New Deal that was implemented to combat the Great Depression. The Green New Deal is an attempt to end the use of fossil fuels in the U.S. in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions. It also calls for more jobs in the “clean energy” sector and for the federal government to ensure that clean air, clean water, and healthy food are provided to all citizens.
Supporters of the Green New Deal argue that the impacts of greenhouse gases on the environment are nearing catastrophic levels. Just as FDR mobilized the power and resources of the federal government to carry out the New Deal to fight the Great Depression, proponents of the Green New Deal believe that the same needs to be done again to fight global warming. They also argue that the federal government is responsible for providing all U.S. residents with access to clean air, water, and healthy food.
Those who oppose the Green New Deal are generally skeptical of the damage that climate change is causing on the environment. They also argue that the federal government should not have the large amount of power that implementing the Green New Deal would require. Opponents claim the Green New Deal would require too many new taxes to pay for it, and they question whether access to clean water and healthy food are rights. They believe that the market and smaller, state efforts would be more effective at reducing greenhouse gases than a large federal program.
What do you think? Should the federal government implement the Green New Deal?